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Half Baked Harvest’s Tieghan Gerard knows comfort food—and her second cookbook, Half Baked Harvest: Super Simple, is chock-full of such recipes. The twist: They can all be pulled off on even the busiest of days. Before the book officially launches on October 29, we’re giving you a sneak peek at a few of her favorite dishes. 

It’s 7 p.m. on a Wednesday and you’re hungry. Following a crowded commute home—which followed an even longer day at work—you trudge to your kitchen, spend a couple minutes surveying the contents of your refrigerator…and reach for your phone to order takeout. Sound familiar? Before you so much as dial an area code, read this first—Half Baked Harvest’s Tieghan Gerard has the perfect dinner savior.

Her go-to midweek meal is a butternut squash and apple pizza, which only takes half an hour to whip up and absolutely calls for an accompanying glass of wine. “I’m what you might call ‘fall obsessed,’” says Gerard. “Every year when autumn comes, I’m cooking and baking away in the kitchen.

“Growing up, we felt uninspired eating the same pizza every single week, even though we loved pizza,” continues the foodie. “This recipe turned a cherished weekly ritual into something mouthwatering.” If you can stand a bit of heat, Gerard recommends adding some spicier cured meats—though the original recipe is pretty great, too. Our hump day blues are officially cured. 

Harvest Butternut Squash and Apple Pizza

Serves 4

The Pizza 

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

The Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp apple butter
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ small butternut squash, shaved into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, torn
  • 1 oz blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • Fresh thyme leaves, for serving
  • ½ pound No-Knead Bread and Pizza Dough (recipe below) or store-bought pizza dough

The Recipe: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. 
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. 
  4. Spread the apple butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Add the sautéed shallots and the apple slices. Layer on the mozzarella and Cheddar, then top with the butternut squash, sage, and prosciutto. 
  5. Season the pizza with a pinch each of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and sprinkle the blue cheese (if using) on top. 
  6. Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with thyme to finish. Slice and serve. 

No-Knead Bread and Pizza Dough

Prep time: 10 minutes Resting Time: 2 hours (or overnight) Cook time: 45 minutes 

The Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 12-oz beer
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The Recipe: 

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the beer and olive oil, and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Note: To get the right consistency in your dough, start with your base amount of flour, then add more as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth but not dry. It’s better to have a dough that’s on the slightly sticky side than a dough that’s too dry. It should be a bit loose; it should not feel dense or heavy. 
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. 
  3. To use as pizza dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Use half of the dough as directed in any given pizza recipe, and save the remaining dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for another use. 
Reprinted from Half Baked Harvest: Super Simple. Copyright © 2019 by Tieghan Gerard. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Tieghan Gerard. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

See more fall recipes we’re craving:  Half Baked Harvest’s Tieghan Gerard Makes This One-Pot Recipe on Repeat This Buttery, Herb-Infused Pasta Dish Is Instant Nostalgia for One L.A. Chef This Store-Bought Ingredient Makes My Recipes Fancier Every Time